Auditor general: There are flaws in the way the DEP is handling the gas drilling industry

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PITTSBURGH - Channel 11 knows its viewers are paying close attention to the Marcellus Shale gas drilling industry.

On Tuesday, the agency in charge of overseeing the industry took some heat from State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale.

“It’s like firefighters trying to put out a 5-alarm fire with a 20-foot garden hose,” said DePasquale.

DePasquale says the meteoric growth of the gas industry caught the DEP unprepared to enforce laws and regulations to protect drinking water.

“We have this entirely new industry, and the inspection policy is based on something 25 years old,” he said.

The audit launched in 2013 resulted in 29 recommendations and eight findings.

"Many of the recommendations in the audit report have already been implemented by the DEP since the Corbett administration took office in 2011 or are currently being considered for implementation," said DEP secretary Christopher Abruzzo.